Ah, I remember the great balustrading concern of…some year. I say it was a concern, because I really don’t think it was that big of a deal. Mother and Father had made the decision to replace the sweeping wooden balustrading of our grand staircase with glass, for a truly modern look. They did research on all of the best providers of glass balustrades Melbourne had to offer, they asked their friends, they got me to ring around several companies, and then ring those same companies again using different voices and accents to see if those companies still spoke enthusiastically to people who sounded ‘foreign’.
Eventually they got the work done, we all stepped back (me one step behind the parents…that was the iron-clad rule in our household) and I thought it looked grand. The balustrade went up the stairs, curved around and ran along the landing that you could use to look down upon the entire entrance hall.
Anyway, Mother hated it from the very first moment, bursting into tears and blaming my existence for bringing this calamity upon us. I remember that being the very first time I thought such a thing to be distinctly unfair, seeing as this work was done by professional glaziers and I wasn’t even allowed near it. Also, as I have said…it looked grand. Father made Mother a strong cup of tea and they went to commiserate in the parlour while I rang around about 500 wooden balustrading companies and asked if they could come and put things back exactly the way they were.
It was an expensive mistake, although I got to practice my accents, and for a short, shining few days I was allowed to occupy the guest bedroom since my cupboard under the stairs became a work zone for the residential glazing people.
I wasn’t allowed to use the bed, but it was still a luxury.